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Coronavirus pandemic ‘not even close to being over’, WHO chief Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus warns



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The global coronavirus pandemic “is not even close to being over,” the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued the warning on Monday — a day before the six-month anniversary of the first reports of a cluster of cases in China last year.

The landmark date coincides with worldwide Covid-19 fatalities hitting 500,100 and reported cases passing 10.1 million.

It also comes as countries around the world begin to lift their lockdowns after months of economically crippling social-distancing measures.

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However, WHO have repeatedly urged governments to proceed with caution amid fears of further waves.

And South Korea and China appear to now be battling with a second outbreak.

Dr Tedros issued the warning ahead of the six-month anniversary since first reports of cases in China (REUTERS)

Dr Tedros told a WHO press conference on Monday that the pandemic “is not even close to being over”.

The organisation’s director general said: “We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is this is not even close to being over.

He added: “We’re all in this together, and we’re all in this for the long haul.

The World on Coronavirus lockdown

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A UK government public health campaign is displayed in Piccadilly Circus

Reuters

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Chinese paramilitary police and security officers wear face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus as they stand guard outside an entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing

AP

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A usually busy 42nd Street is seen nearly empty in New York

AFP via Getty Images

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Bondi Beach, Australia

Getty Images

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Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge after members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas’ hospital

Getty Images

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View of the illuminated statue of Christ the Redeemer that reads “Thank you” as Archbishop of the city of Rio de Janeiro Dom Orani Tempesta performs a mass in honor of Act of Consecration of Brazil and tribute to medical workers amidst the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) pandemic

Getty Images

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Rome

AFP via Getty Images

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An Indian man paddles his bicycle in front of a mural depicting the globe covered in a mask, as India remains under an unprecedented lockdown over the highly contagious coronavirus

Getty Images

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Aerial view of the empty 9 de Julio avenue in Buenos Aires in Argentina

AFP via Getty Images

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A view of an empty Grand Canal

Reuters

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Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain

Getty Images

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Aerial view of the empty Central cemetery in Bogota, Columbia

AFP via Getty Images

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Miami, Florida

AFP via Getty Images

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The facade of the Palacio de Lopez (seat of the government palace)

AFP via Getty Images

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Aerial view of the empty Simon Bolivar park in Bogota

AFP via Getty Images

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An LAPD patrol car drives through Venice Beach Boardwalk

AP

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Venice Beach, California

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Los Angeles, California

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Surfers Paradise is seen empty in Australia

Getty Images

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Many shops stand shuttered on the Venice Beach boardwalk

Getty Images

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Empty escalators are seen at a deserted train station during morning rush hour after New South Wales began shutting down non-essential businesses

Reuters

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A nearly empty Times Square in New York

AFP via Getty Images

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Caracas

AFP via Getty Images

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Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador

AFP via Getty Images

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A general view of an unusually quiet Midland Park in Wellington, New Zealand

Getty Images

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A general view of an unusually quiet Civic Square at lunchtimein Wellington, New Zealand

Getty Images

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A policeman rides his motorcycle wearing a face mask in front of a closed shopping mall in Buenos Aires, Argentina

AFP via Getty Images

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Florida Keys

AP

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The historic Channel 2 Bridge closed to fishermen, bikers and pedestrians in Florida Keys

AP

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The Beach on Scenic Gulf Drive near Seascape Resort in south Walton County, Florida sits empty of tourists

AP

32/45

Surfers Paradise is seen empty in Australia

Getty Images

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A deserted Rajpath leading to India Gate in New Delhi

AFP via Getty Images

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A general view is seen of a closed Luna Park in Sydney, Australia

Getty Images

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A general view is seen of a closed Luna Park in Sydney, Australia

Getty Images

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Empty roads are pictured following the lockdown by the government amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Kathmandu, Nepal

Reuters

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An empty New York Subway car i

AFP via Getty Images

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The empty pedestrian zone is seen in the city of Cologne, western Germany,

AFP via Getty Images

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Place de la Comedie in the city of Montpellier , southern France

AFP via Getty Images

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An empty street in Kuwait city

AFP via Getty Images

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A building is covered by the Portuguese message: “Coronavirus: take precaution” over empty streets in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil,

AP

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A general view shows an empty street after a curfew was imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Reuters

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Parliament of Canada is pictured with empty street during morning rush hour

AFP via Getty Images

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A near empty beach on Southend seafront in England

PA

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Near empty Keswick town centre in Cumbria, England

PA

1/45

Getty Images

2/45

A UK government public health campaign is displayed in Piccadilly Circus

Reuters

3/45

Chinese paramilitary police and security officers wear face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus as they stand guard outside an entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing

AP

4/45

A usually busy 42nd Street is seen nearly empty in New York

AFP via Getty Images

5/45

Bondi Beach, Australia

Getty Images

6/45

Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge after members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas’ hospital

Getty Images

7/45

View of the illuminated statue of Christ the Redeemer that reads “Thank you” as Archbishop of the city of Rio de Janeiro Dom Orani Tempesta performs a mass in honor of Act of Consecration of Brazil and tribute to medical workers amidst the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) pandemic

Getty Images

8/45

Rome

AFP via Getty Images

9/45

An Indian man paddles his bicycle in front of a mural depicting the globe covered in a mask, as India remains under an unprecedented lockdown over the highly contagious coronavirus

Getty Images

10/45

Aerial view of the empty 9 de Julio avenue in Buenos Aires in Argentina

AFP via Getty Images

11/45

A view of an empty Grand Canal

Reuters

12/45

Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain

Getty Images

13/45

Aerial view of the empty Central cemetery in Bogota, Columbia

AFP via Getty Images

14/45

Miami, Florida

AFP via Getty Images

15/45

The facade of the Palacio de Lopez (seat of the government palace)

AFP via Getty Images

16/45

Aerial view of the empty Simon Bolivar park in Bogota

AFP via Getty Images

17/45

An LAPD patrol car drives through Venice Beach Boardwalk

AP

18/45

Venice Beach, California

Getty Images

19/45

Los Angeles, California

Getty Images

20/45

Surfers Paradise is seen empty in Australia

Getty Images

21/45

Many shops stand shuttered on the Venice Beach boardwalk

Getty Images

22/45

Empty escalators are seen at a deserted train station during morning rush hour after New South Wales began shutting down non-essential businesses

Reuters

23/45

A nearly empty Times Square in New York

AFP via Getty Images

24/45

Caracas

AFP via Getty Images

25/45

Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador

AFP via Getty Images

26/45

A general view of an unusually quiet Midland Park in Wellington, New Zealand

Getty Images

27/45

A general view of an unusually quiet Civic Square at lunchtimein Wellington, New Zealand

Getty Images

28/45

A policeman rides his motorcycle wearing a face mask in front of a closed shopping mall in Buenos Aires, Argentina

AFP via Getty Images

29/45

Florida Keys

AP

30/45

The historic Channel 2 Bridge closed to fishermen, bikers and pedestrians in Florida Keys

AP

31/45

The Beach on Scenic Gulf Drive near Seascape Resort in south Walton County, Florida sits empty of tourists

AP

32/45

Surfers Paradise is seen empty in Australia

Getty Images

33/45

A deserted Rajpath leading to India Gate in New Delhi

AFP via Getty Images

34/45

A general view is seen of a closed Luna Park in Sydney, Australia

Getty Images

35/45

A general view is seen of a closed Luna Park in Sydney, Australia

Getty Images

36/45

Empty roads are pictured following the lockdown by the government amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Kathmandu, Nepal

Reuters

37/45

An empty New York Subway car i

AFP via Getty Images

38/45

The empty pedestrian zone is seen in the city of Cologne, western Germany,

AFP via Getty Images

39/45

Place de la Comedie in the city of Montpellier , southern France

AFP via Getty Images

40/45

An empty street in Kuwait city

AFP via Getty Images

41/45

A building is covered by the Portuguese message: “Coronavirus: take precaution” over empty streets in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil,

AP

42/45

A general view shows an empty street after a curfew was imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Reuters

43/45

Parliament of Canada is pictured with empty street during morning rush hour

AFP via Getty Images

44/45

A near empty beach on Southend seafront in England

PA

45/45

Near empty Keswick town centre in Cumbria, England

PA

“We will need even greater stores of resilience, patience, humility and generosity in the months ahead.”

The WHO director general also said: “Tomorrow marks six months since WHO received the first reports of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in #China.

“The six-month anniversary of the outbreak coincides with reaching 10 million Covid-19 cases and 500 thousand deaths”

He added: “This is a moment for all of us to reflect on the progress we have made and the lessons we have learned, and to recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to save lives.”

Read more

He also told the news briefing how six months ago, the world could not have imagined how lives would be “thrown into turmoil by this new virus”.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought out the best and worst of humanity.

“All over the world we have seen heartwarming acts of resilience, inventiveness, solidarity and kindness.”

But he added: “We have also seen concerning signs of stigma, misinformation and the politicisation of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

More about:

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Coronavirus

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covid-19

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World Health Organisation

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

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lockdown

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China

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